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Vail Resorts pumps $100 million in capital improvement into its resorts for 2016-17 ski season

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October 7, 2016, 8:58 am
sun up lift 17 removal

The removal of Vail’s Sun Up Lift No. 17 (Vail Resorts photo).

Vail Resorts is pumping another $100 million into its resorts for the coming 2016-17 ski season, including a new high-speed quad chairlift at Vail and a major renovation of the Pines Lodge at Beaver Creek.

For snow riders, the big news is the replacement of the slow fixed-grip triple chair in Sun Up Bowl at Vail. The new Sun Up Express lift is Vail’s ninth new chairlift in the last 10 years.

Here’s the full list of improvement via a Vail Resorts’ press release sent out on Thursday:

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Oct. 6, 2016 – Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) continues to raise the bar for skiers and riders as the Company  invests approximately $100 million in the guest experience for the upcoming winter across its resorts, bringing its five-year, industry-leading resort investment total to more than $500 million across the Company. The most significant improvements include a new restaurant on Peak 7 at Breckenridge, an upgraded high-speed chairlift accessing Vail’s Back Bowls, significant renovations to the guest rooms of The Pines Lodge, A RockResort at Beaver Creek, and $13 million to completely re-imagine the guest experience at Wilmot Mountain, located near Chicago, Ill.

“Guests expect a premium experience when they visit one of our resorts, including the highest levels of guest service as well as the cutting edge in lifts, restaurants, lodging and other elements of their vacation,” said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts. “This year’s resort improvement plan reflects our goal to continue to deliver an Experience of a Lifetime for all of our guests.”

Projects underway and planned for the 2016-17 winter season include:

  • Pioneer Crossing Opens at Breck – Breckenridge Ski Resort will open Pioneer Crossing, a new, 490-seat restaurant just steps from Independence SuperChair on Peak 7, one of the resort’s five iconic peaks. The new restaurant will offer a variety of house made options like salads to order and a Mediterranean station, all coupled with dramatic views of Breckenridge and the surrounding area. The restaurant is set to open December 2016 and will highlight the mining history of Breckenridge’s past.
  • Re-imagining the Guest Experience at Wilmot – The investment at Wilmot Mountain will be a huge transformation for its guests. When the chairlifts start turning this winter, skiers and snowboarders will be able to enjoy $13 million worth of improvements made this summer, ensuring the entire guest experience is re-imagined for the upcoming season, from new lifts and restaurants, to expanded snowmaking, and an enhanced beginner area and terrain park. This marks the most significant one-time influx of capital improvements in Wilmot Mountain’s 79-year history.
  • Four-Passenger Sun Up Express to open at Vail – Vail Mountain’s ninth new chairlift in the last 10 years will debut this winter, replacing the Sun Up Lift with a four-passenger, high-speed chairlift, now called the Sun Up Express. The new express chairlift will increase capacity of the former lift by 65 percent and reduce the average ride time from eight minutes to four minutes. The new lift will be a primary lift on the Back Bowls of Vail Mountain, serving intermediate and advanced terrain and dispersing skiers and snowboarders into this legendary terrain. More importantly, this makes 19 of Vail’s 22 chairlifts, and all of its core lifts, high speed.
  • Significant Renovation of The Pines Lodge, A RockResort – This fall, The Pines Lodge, A RockResort in Beaver Creek will undergo a significant renovation of its 60 hotel rooms, keeping the unique European charm that the ski-in hotel has always offered while introducing a modern mountain luxury theme, enhancing the guest’s experience and comfort. The new design will be the perfect complement to the property’s other recent renovations and upgrades of soft goods, the lobby area, meeting space and award-winning restaurant, Grouse Mountain Grill.
  • EpicMix Time expands to Park City and Lake Tahoe to provide crowd-sourced lift line wait times to guestsEpicMix™ Time – an expansion of the award-winning ski and snowboard app, EpicMix – will debut at Park City in Utah, and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe during the 2016-17 season, allowing guests to access real-time lift line wait times enabling them to better navigate the mountain and make the most out of their ski and ride experience. EpicMix Time uses proprietary technology to calculate and display up-to-the-minute chairlift and gondola line wait times. This innovative application of crowd-sourcing technology debuted last year at the Company’s four Colorado resorts.

Experience it all with the Epic Pass

While $100 million in improvements across 12 resorts is significant, the cost to ski all of them this winter is a bargain. Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass continues to be the best value and most popular lift product in the industry, at just $829 for adults (if purchased by Oct. 9, 2016). The Epic Pass offers skiers and snowboarders unlimited and unrestricted access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe, Afton Alps near Minneapolis, Mt. Brighton near Detroit, Wilmot Mountain near Chicago and the 2017 Perisher  season in Australia. New for the 2016-2017 season, Epic Pass holders can now ski or snowboard in Europe including resorts in Austria, France, Switzerland and Italy. Europe is Epic details can be found at EuropeIsEpic.com. The Epic Pass pays for itself in just over four days, while also saving more than 45 percent versus tickets purchased at a resort lift ticket window. Multiple pass options are on sale now at EpicPass.com.

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